A recent online survey conducted by Loan Market found more than 40% of Australians spend around half their monthly income repaying debts. In fact, 44% of respondents said they spent more than 40% of their income repaying mortgages, credit cards or personal loans.
There is currently more United States investment in South Africa, than South African investment in the United States. This is as most people would expect. However, there is more South African investment in Australia, than there is Australian investment in South Africa. As a result South Africas High Commissioner to Australia Lenin Shope believes that there is the potential for a significant amount of increased investment in South Africa by Australia
Post-Easter, after one too many chocolate eggs, many of us lament about our waistlines and our general health. No doubt regular check-ups are important, and its often celebrations such as birthdays, Easter or Christmas that remind us to keep an eye on our general well-being.
Buying a home is an exciting process, but you do need to be prepared. Arranging your finance first helps you set your own limit and better positions you for a successful negotiation. And with so many home finance options on the market and a great deal of change over the past 12 months, there are several things you need to consider before beginning your search for the right property.
The Reserve Bank of Australias decision to raise official rates for the second time in 19 months from 3.25% to 3.50% has brought an end to the low interest rate honeymoon for mortgage holders.
Once you begin to think about buying a property, a home loan pre-approval is something that is definitely worth considering regardless of how much you are intending to borrow. A pre approval is similar to full finance approval except that the property you intend to purchase has not yet been determined. The approval is valid for three months. It gives you clear guidelines on how much money you have to work with. Some conditions usually need to be met before full finance approval will be granted, such as finding the property and the property being valued by the bank. The first step is to get your borrowing capacity assessed, to make sure you dont look at something you will not be able to afford. This can easily be done via email. Once you have this ready, pre-approval is the next step.
A testamentary trust (TT) is a trust created from a will. Instead of all of the assets of a deceased estate being distributed to the beneficiaries, some or all are retained in a trust for the benefit of beneficiaries. It provides the option of either a discretionary or fixed trust with each providing different benefits.
The current uncertain economic climate has seen a number of companies worldwide folding or downsizing. 2009 will therefore be a challenging year for many workers and in particular for prospective or recent migrants to Australia. This article highlights basic entitlements and job protections which the Australian legal system provides and which could assist those workers whose jobs are at risk.
It has been a difficult time for investors lately. The volatility of the global financial market has made many around the world very nervous to say the least. The Governments of the major economies have agreed to a coordinated approach to try to ease the impacts on markets however, and as a result, confidence appears to be returning.
First home buyers now have a new way of increasing their deposit, with the opening of the first First Home Saver Accounts on October 1.The initiative, which is part of the Federal Governments plan to increase housing affordability, takes individual savings and combines them with government co-contributions in a high-interest-earning account. The resulting savings attract minimal tax, and there are no charges for withdrawing your savings at the end of the minimum four-year saving period providing you use it for the building or purchase of your first home.
By now it seems just about everyone has been touched by the downturn in the economy. From traders on Wall Street to workers on Main Street, everyone has been struggling to make their limited resources go as far as possible. From everyday trips to the grocery store to big holiday shopping sprees, consumers around the country and around the world will be counting their pennies.
Attracting and retaining quality staff is getting increasingly difficult. It is one of the most significant challenges facing business owners today. It not only costs time and money, but is a critical issue when planning for succession.
Each athlete was different in appearance and attitude; some were aggressive and others had a more laidback approach. Some who were determined to take home a medal and others were just delighted to have reached this level of competition; the memory of having competed on the world stage enough to have given their life some significance.
The new financial year has just begun. In May, Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan, delivered the Governments budgetary agenda for the 2008-09 financial year. The first since the change of Government, many Australian families were hoping for some fairly significant changes to the priorities of this years budget specifically, towards helping working families.
We are frequently asked by clients whether they can borrow more than the value of the property for renovations when purchasing a property? When it comes to a basic loan, the answer is no. At the time you apply for your loan and sign the sales contract on an agreed purchase price, the bank will send an independent valuer to view the property and confirm the purchase price is at an acceptable price. The lender will then take the value of the property and base the loan amount on the valuation. For example, if you sign a sales contract for the purchase of a property for $450,000 the valuation needs to come in at $450,000. You cannot borrow more than the property is worth.
Welcome to the first WHK Editorial! My name is Craig Coetzee, and I am an accountant with WHK in Toowoomba. As a fellow South African, I can appreciate the issues that arise when moving to another country. In each edition of Sabona, we will be including an editorial. Our objective is to provide you with relevant and reliable financial information. Hopefully through doing this, we can help ease your transition into this beautiful country!
There has been a lot of discussion about rising interest rates which brings on the inevitable question of How will I be able to manage my increased mortgage repayments? For those on a fixed interest rate, it does not affect you however, if your fixed rate period is coming to an end you need to be able to manage your new repayments. Samcol Finance has a few tips:
How much does it cost to live in Australia? This is one question that everyone asks no matter what their circumstance. While it is important to know if you will be able to replace your home, pay for private schooling and private health, what most people really want to know is the basic costs of day to day living. One thing becomes very clear after living in Australia for a few months; every income bracket is able to achieve a certain acceptable standard of living.
As the end of the financial year fast approaches, many investors become focused on tax effective borrowing. This is where an Interest in Advance Loan becomes extremely popular.
Interest in Advance Loans are comparable to most Fixed Rate and Interest only investment loans. The main and most important point of difference is that borrowers can pay the next years interest on the loan in advance, and in some circumstances claim it as a tax deduction for that current year.
Lessons for Australian InvestorsFrom the subprime mortgage crisis in the US: With investment markets still shaken by the credit meltdown in the sub-prime mortgage sector in the United States, now is a good time to spend some time looking at exactly where your money is invested.
The end of the financial year in Australia is 30 June and is fast approaching.
The due date to lodge a tax return is 31 October 2008 unless it is prepared by a registered tax agent. So what can you do between now and the 30 June to ensure you pay just the right amount of tax?
Imagine this - it is early 2005 and you are 58 years old.
You have decided to reduce your working hours to 3 days a week. The only difficulty you have is that you need 5 days income in order to maintain your lifestyle. But that is OK.... as you
have a reasonable amount put aside in superannuation. Why not start to draw a small pension from your super account to cover the shortfall in income?
Gone are the days where an interview for a home loan is a one sided affair where the lenders asks all the questions. You now have the right to ask a few questions of your own.Here are a few things you should get answers to before deciding which home loan is right for you:
What are the Pros and Cons of an Investment Property?When looking to purchase an investment property, the most important things to consider is its potential for capital growth and the maximum rental incomes you can receive.
Using tax to maximise property profits.
You may be considering buying property or have already sealed the deal. If you want to maximise your return from the property you need to make sure that you take advantage of all possible tax benefits while you have ownership of the property.
A Low Doc (low documentation) is designed to assist self-employed people who are unable to provide financial statements or tax returns at the time of the application. You will however have to complete an asset and liability statement and the lenders standard application form. Generally lenders will lend up to 80% of the value of the property.
With the occurrence of self employment or small business entrepreneurship on the increase, it is worthwhile becoming familiar with Australian tax laws to ensure that you do not pay more tax than you should. How a business is structured depends on individual circumstances and it is important to get it right at the start. An individual operating a business alone will often operate as a sole trader. The concept is easy and there are minimal costs. But what other options do taxpayers have?
With the recent announcement of the 2007 Federal Budget, I felt it would be relevant to focus this article on some of the changes which may affect you and your family. The details below are extracted from the Russell Budget Alert and is only a summary of some of the changes.
In May last year, the Federal Government announced a range of measures designed to simplify the superannuation system.
Australia is a popular destination for migrants seeking to take advantage of some of the diverse characteristics this lucky country has to offer. Australia has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, many world heritage listed properties, and a gorgeous landscape filled with flora and fauna that has long had appeal with many visitors to this country. Australia is also found to be attractive in that, while it is the 6th largest country in the world, it also has the lowest population density and provides an enviable lifestyle with great opportunities for business and employment.